As a part of Europe, Estonia is one of the countries where innovations and trends move fast and gain popularity at the same time as the rest of the world. Lately, the car rental industry is experiencing turnover and major fluctuations by the new trend called peer to peer car rental.
In this article, we’ll talk a little about the car rental industry in Estonia and whether it’s better to rent a car through the professionals or from a single private person. Read on in addition and see what we think!
Professional car rental
As a part of the traditional car renting, professional companies dealing with this issue still hold the majority of the market. The reason for this is because they are trustworthy and the business they run is already checked and proven as best.
There are lots of car renting companies in Estonia and they all offer their services in their own way. What’s common for all is that the vehicles they own and offer are all double checked and safe. There’s no way to get a vehicle that’s not working properly or have any malfunction.
Another important feature of renting companies is that they all have support 24/7. In the case of an accident, the company will be there to assist you. Even if you don’t have an Estonian phone number, you can always reach them online. They all have websites with offers and a contact form. See an example of a typical rent-a-car Estonian firm here: https://aaarent.ee/
One of the biggest issues that people face and don’t like in professional is having strict rules. Everything is written down on the agreement you sign and you have to think about a million things while driving. Mileage, gas spending, damages, additional driver rules, a ton of concerns.
Another slight problem is that all of them offer almost the same cars. The reason for everyone choosing the same ones is because those models are best in terms of maintenance and cost. Rarely you find an exotic piece for a fair price.
Peer to peer rental
Peer to peer rental is just like Airbnb for cars. There are websites connecting people and everything is legal. The best part of it is being able to see the track record of the person offering, but also there’s a possibility to see how the renter was scored by the other side too. This way everyone is sure who are they dealing with and if anyone doesn’t like the other side, they’re not obligated to get connected.
Another important thing here is the price. It’s usually lower than the one of the pros. There are fewer rules and you can agree easier with a single person owning the vehicle.
A major issue in peer to peer rental is safety. You simply don’t know and no one can completely guarantee what you’re about to drive. The car might have loose brakes and you won’t be aware of it until it’s too late.
Also, no matter the reviews from previous clients, you can’t be sure who you’re working with. It might be a person who has a criminal record or is aggressive but didn’t have the chance to show until now. Maybe it’s a drug addict or an alcoholic.
Another problem with this method is mileage. The private renters can’t guarantee how much their car spends gas on a certain mileage. You might like this way because you can find a more affordable price, but in the end, it might turn out that this way is more expensive than anything else.
Important notes for renting a vehicle abroad
Member of a corporation
Some major car-rental corporations have their outposts in a lot of countries around the world. If you’re a member of some check their offer first as you can get a lot of benefits. This is very important when renting abroad as you don’t what you can expect there.
Sure it’s easy if you’re an American citizen and you go from New York to Texas, but doing the same in a country thousands of miles away from home can be a stressful experience. Having someone familiar that can help is a precious moment for everyone.
Check carefully the driving rules
Estonia is a part of the majority in the world when it comes to the side of the driving. So, if you’re coming from countries like the UK or Australia, you need to know that driving here is not like home. Also, check carefully about the speed limit in different areas. The measurements are in km/h so be aware of this little fact too. See driving rules of Estonia on this link.
Pay attention to details
Ask for those small but big issues like gas, mileage, and similar and compare them with the other offers there are. For example, it’s always best to get an offer where you have to tank your own gas because companies charge enormous amounts for this. If the standard price is 1,3 dollars per litter, you’ll get charged $3.
Ask for everything there is. How much can you drive, when are you obligated to return the vehicle, and where can you leave it. Everything’s important because this is the way everyone earns. If you don’t pay complete attention you can be literally robbed because you didn’t see some of the mall print on the bottom of the agreement.
If we compare everything we said above, the final verdict is still in favor of the classic rent-a-car companies. They are still more secure and give you more features that are helpful for you as an end customer. The peer to peer option is more affordable but some concerns must be resolved before they get a fair chance in the battle for dominance.
In the end, always prepare for your trip in a foreign country. Understand the local ways and customs, how people communicate and where you can find the best offers. Car renting is no different than going to the market, so pay attention to everything out there.